How Your Website Design Can Improve Ecommerce Sales.

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December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm #293

b.nieto
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Are customers of your San Diego business visiting your website, but then abandoning their shopping carts before checking out? Here are some factors that might be causing shopping cart abandonment—and some ways your website design can encourage customers to keep shopping.

Slow Loading: Is your ecommerce website taking too long too load? This can be a common problem, especially if you have lots of product images, or if customers are accessing your website on a mobile device such as an iPad or other tablet. No matter whether they are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone, today customers expect pages to load almost instantly or they’ll click away to your competition. One study found loading in 1-2 seconds is ideal and that every additional second costs you 7 percent drop in customer conversions. Pay attention to product page loading times—even if your home page loads quickly, customers jumping through lots of products will get frustrated if it takes too long.

Complex Navigation: Can users figure out where to go on your website and what steps to take next? Make sure it’s intuitive where to go and how to get back to view a previously viewed product. Follow the common conventions of shopping sites; don’t try to reinvent the wheel—you’ll just confuse your customers. Follow the KISS principle and don’t make customers follow too many steps to find products. Do they have to click through multiple pages to get to, say, Women’s Shirts? Try to minimize the number of steps involved so users don’t lose patience and leave.

Provide Details: If product details are inadequate, customers may give up because they’re not sure the product is what they want. Provide multiple views of items, clearly display colors and include information such as size, weight and materials—whatever might be relevant to the shopping decision. More and more ecommerce sites are adding video of products in use; see Zappos.com for a great example of this tactic.

Make Registration Optional: If you want to capture the maximum sales, allow guests to purchase without registering or creating a new account. Sure, you can emphasize the convenience that registering will bring later on when they visit your site again, but don’t force them to register. Many online shoppers may not want to take time to register because they’re in a hurry; others just don’t want to deal with another account. Whatever the reason, remember the customer is always right, so provide a way for them to check out as guests.

No Surprises: There’s nothing customers hate more than having to go through the whole checkout process to see what their shipping costs or sales tax will be. Include FAQs about shipping and taxes that at least give users a rough idea of what these costs will be so they can decide whether purchasing is worth it. Also make sure there are no other unpleasant surprises during the checkout process—this can not only cause shopping cart abandonment, but also turn a customer off from shopping with you ever again.

 

 

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